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Linux Journal: Rage of the Machine: The New God Will Fail

Jun 28, 2000, 06:11 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Penn)

"You can see them at the horizon. Long hidden, they approach slowly, but with the determination of marginalized individuals gathered together in the singularity of Purpose. In their hands, you see torches, pitchforks, banners reading "Death to the PC!" "Long Live the Net!" Like shadows cast by resentment and rage itself, they darken the ground with every encroachment, march closer still, muttering, mumbling beneath their breaths of the tyranny of hard drives and the Interconnectedness of All Things. You could cower behind nearby rocks, or join their growing, ominous ranks ... But they are "coming" no longer. They are here...."

"Fortunately, most of the members of this grim band are marketing folks - long-winded, a bit highfalutin', but not especially dangerous. Still, they don't mind sending whole segments of the population down the old rabbit-hole every now and then - for fun and profit. And, true to nature, they are at it again. Yes, the PC as we know it will not last forever. And, yes, the power of an increasingly wired world is likely something that will. But whatever the service, device or system that heralds the New Dawn might be, the Internet appliance (IA) - that i-opener, epod, Dot.Station, web phone, etc. - is not it."

"In the rush to arrive at the post-PC era, the Internet appliance is a sideways move at best: a less capable, marginally less expensive PC, marketed to a population that is somehow anti-PC, yet chomping at the bit to get "news! stock quotes! e-mail!" over the Internet. Near the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, where a set of Komodo dragons has taken up residence, is a billboard that reads: "There is a reason you've never met anyone from Komodo ..." Something similar could be said for the legions of anti-PC, pro-Internet consumers allegedly waiting to purchase Internet appliances by the bargeload. Do you know why you've never met any of them? Because there aren't any."

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